Update: Facebook Ban and Lost Corporation Status of “Ticked-Off Trannies” Film
March 25, 2010
Looking Back: How The G&L Views The T
March 31, 2010

When Ticked Off Gay Men Attack: Misogyny As A Knife

Last week when I posted Tribeca Film Festival Promotes Exploitation of Transgender People, I never thought that the call to action would cause controversy within the GLBT community.

As gudbuytjane said about the movie on her blog:

I felt sick. I have seen the lives and even the deaths of trans people appropriated by cis LGB culture before, but I didn’t think anyone would be so crass as to describe in lurid detail the deaths of two trans people (ironic in how quickly many cis gays were to distance Jorge Mercado from any sort of trans identity before) to promote a COMEDY. A drag queen comedy directed by a cissexual gay man. Even more troubling is the pornographic description of their deaths. Do cis people not realize how incredibly triggering and damaging it can be having to read the detailed description of how a trans person was murdered? And then the sickening punch of realizing it was done in the aim of promoting a comedy?

But as I look at the the gay blogosphere this morning I see:

– gay men condescending:

“These large LGBT organizations always seem just one step behind, don’t they. I don’t know if it’s because they are too large to be as nimble as they need to be, or it’s a problem with the leadership, or something else, but fracturing the LGBT community — as they have once again done with this — while obfuscating their own involvement makes all of us LGBTs just a little bit more wary of Gay, Inc.”

The portrayal of GLAAD as causing the fracture in this community instead of the film itself, is stunning. Many transgender people put out a call to action from GLAAD and they responded. GLAAD in this case has truly been a G-L-B-T organization with this call to action.

– gay men defending:

TrannyGate: “Tribeca’s statement corroborates what a star of the film already commented on Movieline, which is that GLAAD had been well aware of the film for close to a year — and had even worked with the filmmakers — but for some reason chose to use the misleading language “was recently alerted” in their press release.”

Which actually isn’t true. From GLAAD’s “Latest on the Call to Action”:

“Last month, GLAAD was asked to meet with the director and cast members prior to seeing the movie to educate them about transgender terminology and issues facing the transgender community. During that meeting, GLAAD was not shown the film and voiced strong concerns about the title and the use of the word “tranny.” While the word is used by some, it is largely an insult that is offensive to many transgender people. The filmmaker has elected to keep it, despite its potential offense.”

– gay men just being downright obscene:

JoeMyGod commenter:

“I might actually want to see this just for the laughter

and

ps It is 5pm and bilerico has not yet broken this story — surely the biggest outrage of human rights violation for them since transmen in Canada were refused public healthcare funding for the glue they use to attach their plastic penises when hitting the gay bar

An anonymous commenter on the blog of Alexandria Billings wrote:

“Every reiteration of ‘tranny’ stereotypes has the effect of normalising prejudice, unless there’s considerable care taken. No-one so far has suggested that that’s true.”

and I agree. The fact that mainstream sites like Movieline use the word “TrannyGate” without any apology just solidifies the point. I hate to be repetitive, but no one covering Hollywood would “NiggerGate”, “JewGate”, or “FagGate”. The argument that this film is art, dies on the same vine. But this isn’t something I thought I’d have to explain to someone else in the L-G-B-T community. Apparently some gay men didn’t get the memo that misogyny in any form is ugly and condescending hate.

Nelson C. asked on NGBlog:

“Is the blogger suggesting that a gay man lacks understanding on trans issues? She sure did, didn’t she.”

In response, I’ll quote Helen Boyd:

I have been working in and with the trans community for something like 10 years now. I am beginning to understand the incredible variety of lived trans identities. So if you think you’re hip to trans identities and trans lives, you probably aren’t. That doesn’t mean you can’t be an ally. That doesn’t mean you don’t care about the trans community. But what it might mean, and often does mean, is that when you have an entire community reeling in horror from a phrase (“hot tranny mess”) or a film (like this one), then maybe, just maybe, you need to shut up & listen & not pull this patriarchal bullshit. Being gay (or a member of whatever other oppressed group) does not give a person instant knowledge of and deep compassion with other people’s suffering. What it gives you is a chance to empathize — a chance that you will waste entirely if you always think you’re right.

Instead of doing that, Nelson says:

“When you have people suggesting that a gay man is incapable of understanding trans issues or is at a deficit because he’s gay, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider the T in LGBT.”

And there it is. If you don’t like it, shut the fuck up or get off the bus.

But it’s GLAAD and the trans-community who are fracturing the community….

  • Tommesha_a

    A misogynist is like where you don’t like woman because they are …..always treating so your like
    WOMAN ARE BEEEEEPPPPS
    and your like CHEATING MONKEYS! i dunno i’m 12 and a girl so i’m just geussing.

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  • ginasf

    It's interesting how one of my initial complaints about this film in my blog pieces about it has always been that the clips of it I've seen contained rape jokes. Even though the instances of this are said by one of the non-transgender-identified performers in the film, just to even have those coming out of the mouth of a character who is supposed to be a “transgender woman” (in quotes because the director has waffled about who these characters actually depict) is offensive beyond belief. A few weeks before this pathetic drama, a trans woman was allegedly raped by an on-duty police officer in San Antonio (and the even the police department isn't denying it). Many women in the trans community have experienced rape and sexual assault and it's NO JOKE. Not one gay man commenting in support of this film has mentioned this issue. Not a one. And yes, there are gay men who are raped which makes it doubly offensive.

  • Kathy

    I'm glad you were finally able to make your point clearly. Perhaps writing shouldn't be your first career choice?

    Indeed; ex-gay – because that word choice has simply no unfortunate associations. No one ould possibly think that it might have an implication of inauthenticity in a transwoman's being. And no one who knew anything about the community would ever make the unintended mistake of being unaware of the long history of that slur. That's why gay men are uniquely qualified to make decisions for each and every lbt person.

    But – it does raise the question of what to call gay men. Most weren't always known as gay. Ex-straight? I salute you proud ex-straight man!

    And I fully support yourr choice to make decison calls on behalf of bi-sexual women. And those pesky transfolks. Your insight highly recommends such an investment of trust.

  • mzmartipants

    So there? What, are you four?

    No one said he had to ask for permission. If Luna made a film about black men going on a rampage, killing whites, I'd understand the outrage of the African American community. It's a matter of another community EXPLOITING our dead. If you can't understand how that is offensive, I'm not sure we can have any more dialogue. There's an arrogance for speaking or using another community to promote you or your own community.

  • mzmartipants

    Maybe it's just my history of having white male privilege, but what just infuriates me most is when ANY man…gay, straight, or otherwise, tries to tell a woman what she should or shouldn't be outraged by.

  • mzmartipants

    So there? What, are you four?

    No one said he had to ask for permission. If Luna made a film about black men going on a rampage, killing whites, I'd understand the outrage of the African American community. It's a matter of another community EXPLOITING our dead. If you can't understand how that is offensive, I'm not sure we can have any more dialogue. There's an arrogance for speaking or using another community to promote you or your own community.

  • mzmartipants

    So if some trans people ID as heterosexual, then no trans person should be included? I'm not sure were that would leave me since I'm gay and trans. Your suggestion is patently offensive on so many levels. If we did so, we'd throw out many of the people who were at the forefront of gay liberation like Sylvia Rivera.

  • mzmartipants

    So if some trans people ID as heterosexual, then no trans person should be included? I'm not sure were that would leave me since I'm gay and trans. Your suggestion is patently offensive on so many levels. If we did so, we'd throw out many of the people who were at the forefront of gay liberation like Sylvia Rivera.

  • mzmartipants

    Maybe it's just my history of having white male privilege, but what just infuriates me most is when ANY man…gay, straight, or otherwise, tries to tell a woman what she should or shouldn't be outraged by.

  • I couldnt agree with you more girl! I wrote a blog entry too asing why it 's mainly gay men who are attacking transwomen's and GLAAD's right to combat transphobia:
    http://transformingmedia.blogspot.com/2010/03/w

  • “Nelly” LOL. Some of my best friends call me that.

    Nonetheless, my point in making the statement is there are certain people, who, by transitioning emotionally, mentally, physically, take your pick, no longer identify as gay or lesbian. They are essentially heterosexual. Or better still ex-gay.

    Do you want an ex-gay making decision calls on behalf of the lgbT population?

  • “But it’s GLAAD and the trans-community who are fracturing the community….”

    No, you can add fake equality advocates to that list, too.

    In as much as I'm in disagreement on this one – the notion that a film director who is gay is at a defecit when it comes to trans issues or has to ask permission is beyond arrogant – nontheless, I supported another blogger's efforts to have Mr. Luna retract references to Angie Zapata and Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado from the movie trailer and immediately congratulated her thru her blog and e-mail upon notice.

    So there.

  • “Nelly” LOL. Some of my best friends call me that.

    Nonetheless, my point in making the statement is there are certain people, who, by transitioning emotionally, mentally, physically, take your pick, no longer identify as gay or lesbian. They are essentially heterosexual. Or better still ex-gay.

    Do you want an ex-gay making decision calls on behalf of the lgbT population?

  • mzmartipants

    I changed it. I thought it was obvious it was about something said on your site. anywho, I changed it.

  • JMG

    Please do not attribute comments made by my readers to ME. Change this.

  • Samantha

    Way to go Marti, well said! This really is about the Ron Gould type of Gay man who think they know everything and have no use, or respect for women of any kind. Sad really. Maybe just the arrogant, obnoxious, self serving, misogynistic freaks should be kicked out of the LBTG community.

    I don't hate men, I don't really hate anyone. But the arrogant bastards making a mess of the place because Patriarchy is right (in the context of correct) no matter what, I just might make an exception for. Lower their testosterone just a bit and give them some sensitivity training before they have to go all flaming red monkey but on us for making:

    “Hairy faggots who take lives!”

    Thanks Marti, this was a well written piece that took a higher road than my comment here, and I think that's awesome.

  • Kathy

    “When you have people suggesting that a gay man is incapable of understanding trans issues or is at a deficit because he’s gay, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider the T in LGBT.”

    Actually Nelly old girl, we're suggesting that many gay men don't understand misogyny as well. You going to kick out all the lesbians & bi women as well? Are you Spanky or Alfalfa in your little version of the “He-Man Women Haters Club”. Some gay men say the darndest things, bless their hearts.

  • Melody

    That last quote– just wow. You mean a gay man has an intimate understanding of the complex issues of Ls, Bs, and Ts, simply by virtue of being a member of an oppressed minority. Well, it won't be long before he's kicking the Ls off the bus too. I'm glad that you cross post this stuff to Facebook. Thank you.

  • mzmartipants

    thanks Rachel! I corrected it in the post!

  • Rachel

    The Jenny Boylan “quote” is actually from a post by Helen Boyd. Boylan was reposting it.

    http://www.myhusbandbetty.com/2010/03/25/ongoin

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  • mzmartipants

    thanks Rachel! I corrected it in the post!